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on our broadcast tonight -- fast and furious. a massive outbreak of tornados tearing across the country. at one point, 19 separate tornado warnings, including some big cities. while some smaller towns are being described as completely gone. backlash. a growing firestorm over rush limbaugh's crude tirade. tonight the young woman he targeted is speaking out with what he said and a surprise phone call today. the threat from iran. a nuclear war of words. is israel planning to strike? tonight the strongest warning yet from president obama. and standing together after unthinkable tragedy. students and teachers, an entire town united in an incredible show of support. "nightly news" begins now.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television good evening. tonight, a u.s. senator from indiana said they'd appreciate the prayers of everyone watching television tonight. we are covering a severe weather outbreak of severe weather this evening, the likes of which we are not sure we've ever seen before. 155 million americans have been in the path of severe weather five days ago a teenager today and tonight. walked into the cafeteria at we had tornados in eight states. chardon high school in cleveland, opened fire with a hand gun, killing three boys, at one point this evening, there injuring two more students and were 19 separate tornado warnings. changing that place forever. today was chardon's first day back at school. ve othe map in theve it was an emotional return for southeast, including se maomr students and teachers in a place that will never, ever be the cities, including some smaller same. our report tonight from nbc's towns that are frankly no longer standing. kevin tibbles. at the heart of some of these >> reporter: in the aftermath of storms is some of the strongest the unthinkable, the children of weather this planet can produce. our team has fanned out to cover chardon return to school. it all. >> we are going to stay together. we want to begin with the worst that will help us move on. >> reporter: as their buses
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of it. dr. greg forbes is the severe pulled up, students from weather expert at the weather channel. surrounding schools came to show their support. dr. forbes, we've been watching you all afternoon into the evening. when the chardon hilltoppers took to the court last night, you've been asked to prioritize about the larger tornados. hundreds dressed in school colors, cheered them on. where is the worst headed tonight? their opponents wore chardon t-shirts and all stood together as one before tipoff and a >> some is rolling across eastern parts of kentucky. we have tornado warnings all the chardon victory. >> it's really remarkable how way north of the ohio river down to the gulf coast. take a look at the satellite these kids have an innate wisdom picture. about what they need for the orange are high-top healing. thunderstorms down from >> reporter: while the flowers pennsylvania to eastern and memorials will eventually tennessee into louisiana. go, two of the three shooting isolated storms ahead of that victims left a lasting legacy. across parts of the rest of the they were able to donate their vital organs. gulf coast states. 16 other people benefitted from this precious gift. the family of russell king jr all this being fed by a huge strong jet stream and rotating said in a statement, so far his pocket aloft and warm, moist air at low levels. in red, all of these red online gift of life saved eight lives, areas are tornado warnings for individual storms from west virginia to east kentucky, including a small child, his southwest virginia, tennessee down into parts of alabama, heart still beats. mississippi, and that is likely to continue. mourners lined up to say good-bye to 16-year-old danny we have forecasted still some of parmertor whose funeral is our greatest threat areas, we saturday. only do that a few times per year with a tor:con of 9. his father released this video of danny in the orange
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in eastern parts of kentucky and in the red shaded area, severe sweatshirt because he wanted everyone to hear his laughter. the mother of demetrius hewlin weather to pittsburgh and charlotte, down into the gulf who would have turned 17 next coast states. week, she already has forgiven it is still a very active, very dangerous etching tonight. the alleged shooter. >> dr. greg forbes who has been following all of it, his life's work at the weather channel this >> if you don't forgive, you afternoon. hold that in your heart. you've got that hatred in your thank you very much. heart. weather channel meteorologist this is for my son. >> reporter: as a small ohio jim cantore is on the ground in town grieves, those who live here work together to move forward. kevin tibbles, nbc news, henryville, indiana, the scene of some of the worst damage chardon, ohio. we've seen all day. jim, are you with us? >> reporter: i am, brian. one more reminder tonight for all those folks in the storm it's awful. zone, a good idea to keep an eye the same thing we looked at in on the weather channel coverage all night long. harrisburg, illinois, in terms for us, that's our broadcast for of ef-4 damage. this friday night and for this look behind me here. complete destruction. week. thank you for being here with houses blown off their us. foundation. i'm brian williams. there is the high school you've probably seen from the air, as lester holt will be here with well. you this weekend. we hope to see you, of course, back here monday evening. what i've seen are trees good night. stripped of their bark. the worst thing is to see the looks on the people's faces. they don't know what hit them. -- captions by vitac -- people taking things they have and walking out of town right now.
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it's very chaotic. obviously, police, fire on the scene. you hear constant sounds of ambulances. you know there are many, many people that have been injured in through here. very close to the heart of downtown, no question about it. this is going to be a tornado that is going to be probably producing ef-4 damage. winds 170 to 200 miles per hour here. again, you look back at the high good evening, thank you for school, you see a brick building, you see a roof that's joining us on this friday. been torn off. i'm raj mathai. windows, complete walls blown in here. i can see up the hill probably jessica aguirre has the night off. a banner day for the tech at least half mile to 3/4 of a industry. mile where the path of this yelp at the center. thing went. web review site got a glowing if you trace this storm, it started all the way back in review from investors on the southern illinois, came across first day of its ipo. all of southern indiana, one of many bay area tech produced tornados with it and
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then worked its way through companies bringing hype and northern kentucky. money to the area. scott budman h b we had tornados with this supercell. there are two that tracked across this area. this one struck henryville. as you've seen from the air, complete destruction in through here to homes, to businesses, trees and automobiles. right now just getting on the scene, we are seeing it chaos here as people are trying to figure out what the heck went through here. as a meteorologist, i can tell you it was a tornado that probably produced winds between 165 and 200 miles per hour. we knew this was coming, and unfortunately, we have to be here to talk about it tonight. >> we have dozens of communities under a take-cover warning. you look at the geography of this. it's a northeastern weather event now down to the mississippi delta. can you remember this long a line and this numerous a number of funnels in one event? >> reporter: brian, you know what this he are minds me of? the super outbreak of 1974. it covered a lot of real estate. we had storms that impacted 15 states with tornados here. you've got, again, this type of
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outbreak going on, very far to the north. the difference is that was in april. here we are in early march. the climate changing brings us these outbreaks earlier in the year, it looks that way. >> jim cantore, fast work getting on the ground in henryville, indiana. weather channel meteorologist mike seidel in harvest, alabama, with more how this all developed today. >> reporter: around 10:30 a.m. eastern time, the storm makes its first strike in northern alabama. a funnel cloud captured on camera in huntsville. another one 25 miles away in athens, leaving a five-mile swath of demolished houses, downed power lines and uprooted trees. this training center at a state prison takes a direct hit. an 18-wheeler flipped on its side. this video shows a funnel cloud near a high school. an emotional woman is heard. >> those kids.owsh
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students inside the school hallway as the tornado hit. thankfully, no one was injured. at 12:07, a warning that the storm is far from over. >> storms will be moving almost 50 to 60 miles per hour so severe weather conditions will change rapidly at any given location. people need to monitor this situation very carefully. >> i felt my house moving. it was pretty bad. i ain't never been through nothing like this before. >> reporter: reports of more than a dozen tornados touched down in three states. around 2:20 p.m., sirens sound in hard-hit harrisburg, illinois. today it was spared a second beating. a tornado touches down in kentucky. >> we have a tornado on the ground that is north of palmyra. you don't have a lot of time to seek shelter as we speak. >> reporter: southeastern tennessee hit hard. >> pulley road. >> reporter: by 3:40 p.m.,
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reports of extreme devastation in parts of indiana, after being pummeled by hail, tornados battered large areas of the state. several towns are completely gone. in fact, here the same area was hit by an ef-4/ef-5 last april. there was a mobile home here last year blown off its foundation. its debris is piled back there. the owner put another mobile home, here this morning, it's gone. locals are thankful. there are no fatalities in this area. this is where it all started and continues to roll on this evening. >> mike seidel, thank you very much from harvest, alabama. now to mike bettes in nashville. we've been watching you all afternoon going through the hail storm, size of golf balls, then driving rain then winds came through there. >> reporter: it's been a volatile afternoon, that's for sure. i bet the 1 million plus people that live here in the music city consider themselves lucky. take a look at what it did.
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it knocked over small branches and trees. we had golf ball size hail. it has now melted down to about dime size hail. boy, we got hammered hard. our entire crew had to run for shelter as we believe possible weak rotation came over vanderbilt university and over top of us. we rushed to a drainage culvert to seek shelter from that storm. some of our crew taking the hail hit on the hands and head. this evening, a completely different story. nashville metro in the clear. behind me you see a vivid blue sky. not all of middle tennessee will be looking okay this evening. south i-65 is a bad place to be this evening. east tennessee, as well. places like chattanooga, tennessee, and knoxville, home of the tennessee volunteers in the greatest risk area in the volunteer state. back to you. >> mike bettes in nashville, thanks.
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to all our viewers in these affected areas, stay with this nbc station, your late local news, of course, and for up to the minute updates all evening long, experts at the weather channel. now we want to turn to some of the day's other news. war of words over iran's nuclear ambitions. tonight president obama says he's not bluffing about using military action if needed, to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon. making his strongest comments yet on this subject, sending a message to iran and to israel and the gop candidates who have been critical of his iran policy. we get our report on this from our chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell. >> reporter: president obama gearing up for a critical meeting with israel's prime minister netanyahu monday and his own speech this weekend to america's strongest pro-israel lobby, took his hardest line yet against iran. telling "the atlantic" jeffrey goldberg, i don't bluff. i don't go around advertising exactly what our intentions are, but i think both the iranian and
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israeli governments recognize when the united states says it is unacceptable for iran to have a nuclear weapon, we mean what we say. mr. obama faces pressure from all sides on iran. at a campaign fund-raiser in new york last night, a woman opposing military action presumably paid $1,000 for the privilege of yelling at him. >> none of this -- nobody announced a war, young lady. we appreciate your sentiment. you're jumping the gun a little bit there. >> reporter: the president's immediate challenge is monday's visit from israel's prime minister netanyahu. their ninth meeting, including a tenth oval office face-off last may, when netanyahu appeared to be lecturing the president. in canada today, the prime minister previewed the hard line
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he will present to the president, a demand iran shut down its nuclear program, which iran claims is peaceful. >> dismantle the underground nuclear facility and stop enrichment inside iran, and get all the enriched material out of iran. >> reporter: "the atlantic's" jeffrey goldberg sat down with the president. >> i was struck how strong and clearly he was speaking how central this issue is to him. >> reporter: mr. obama's clear intent, warn israel not to attack and try to get iran to negotiate seriously. israel is hotly debating the military option and many say getting closer to a preemptive strike, with or without the u.s. >> it is more likely than not because prime minister netanyahu so strongly supports a strike, israel will choose to strike iran in the coming months. >> reporter: facing tough criticism from republican candidates, as well, president obama complained to "the atlantic," his support for israel is still being questioned, even though he says he backed israel on every issue
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for three years. that's going to be his message to the prime minister who placed the possibility of military action against iran on the table. brian? >> andrea mitchell in our d.c. newsroom tonight, thanks. still ahead on a busy friday night, the growing firestorm tonight over that crude tirade from rush limbaugh who is refusing to back down. the woman he targeted is speaking out about those comments and the surprise phone call she received today.
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we are back with this growing firestorm over the crude tirade from rush limbaugh directed at a young woman caught up in the fight over birth control in washington. tonight, the anger is spreading. that young woman is speaking out on her own behalf and limbaugh is refusing to apologize. we get the latest from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: today rush limbaugh did not back down. >> what can i do to the women of america? >> thank you for calling this hearing. >> reporter: his comments from sandra fluke set off a firestorm.
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she is the georgetown law student prohibited from testifying before congressional committee in support of government-mandated contraceptive coverage. limbaugh wednesday. >> what does it say about the college co-ed susan fluke who goes from a congressional committee and says she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? it makes her a slut, right? a prostitute. >> reporter: then thursday. >> if we are going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. i'll tell you what it is. we want you to post the videos online so we can all watch. >> reporter: his comments got women talking. >> i think that he should apologize to every female in america for that comment. >> i don't equate taking birth control with being a prostitute. >> reporter: the anger transcends political line. in a piece for this weekend's "the washington post," conservative columnist kathleen
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parker blasts limbaugh. >> all decent people feel offended by this or should, and that means men, women, republicans, democrats, liberals, conservatives. this is a matter of public civility. he has crossed a line. >> reporter: on the presidential campaign trail, republican candidate rick santorum criticized limbaugh's tactics. >> he's being absurd. an entertainer can be absurd. >> reporter: georgetown's president defended fluke even though the catholic university disagrees with her, calling the comments "misogynistic, vitriolic and a misrepresentation of a position of our students." >> you wanted to testify -- >> reporter: just before going on msnbc's "andrea mitchell reports," fluke got a call from president obama. >> he said to tell my parents they should be proud. >> reporter: they discussed the name she had been called, though not in explicit terms. >> he expressed his concern for me and his disapproval of this
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type of discourse. >> reporter: on social media, outraged men and women called for a boycott of limbaugh's advertisers. sleep train, sleep number, quicken loans and autozone pulled their ads. as americans of all perspectives demand a more civil discourse. anne thompson, nbc news, new york. when we come back, the return today to a place where nothing will ever be the same.
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air travel in this country is changing forever tonight. at one minute to midnight local time, the last continental airlines flight ever will leave phoenix bound for cleveland, then there will be no more continental airlines. the last flight will mark the completion of the takeover by united. overnight, the reservation system for continental will disappear along with the code c.o. if you already have a ticket, don't worry, you will be flying on united. sales of the still-new electric hybrid chevy volt are not moving as fast as chevy
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would like, so they are going to idle the production line and gm will lay off 1,300 workers for a five-week period. the volt is pricey, north of $33,000 and they sold fewer than 10,000 so far. just this week president obama said he would buy one after he leaves the white house. we learned today van barfoot died. he was a recipient of the medal of honor for his actions in world war ii. like all of them, his story is incredible. he grew up in the south, part indian. during the war he took part in the landings at sicily, silerno. in one engagement against the germans, he walked through a mine field while killing two enemy on the run. took 17 prisoners single-handedly, destroyed a tank and turned away two others before getting two of his wounded men to safety. he turned down a trip home and chose to receive his medal of
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honor in the field in france so his men could be with him. he was in the news most recently when his american flag violated the rules of his neighborhood association in virginia, but van won that fight, too. van barfoot was 92. his death now leaves 82 living medal of honor recipients. we are back in a moment with an emotional return today, teachers and students standing united.
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